Do You Know Juko Nayoshi?

The search for a Japanese WWII POW

I've been in touch with a U.S. Air Force veteran who has requested my help. He was on Okinawa in 1945-1946 and recounted the following incident to me:

"While on Okinawa, shortly after the war was over in 1945 - I received a 3' x 5' oil painting from a Japanese POW who was a member of a work detail assigned to the NCO club that I was in charge of on Kadena Air Base. The POWs were working outside when the "Officer of the Day" came by and got into an argument with one of the POWs. . .
During the argument, (I don't know what the problem was) the OD started shoving the POW around while shouting at him. The POW drew back his fist, but did not throw a punch. When this happened, the OD came over to me and demanded my .45 pistol. I gave it to him, whereby he went back to the POW, cocked the weapon and point-blank pulled the trigger. . .

The pistol did not fire, mainly because I made it a practice not to carry it loaded. The officer came back to me and demanded the magazine, which I carried in my pocket. I told him no way was I going to give it to him. He threw my clean pistol in the dust and stormed off swearing at the top of his voice that I would be court-marshalled for not complying to a direct order.

Shortly thereafter I was told to immediately see the commanding officer. As I walked to the HDQs building, I figured at least Leavenworth [prison] was closer to home. When asked by the CO my side (of the story) - he smiled and told me to forget it.


A couple of weeks later the POWs showed up with a beautiful 3' x 5' oil painting and ceremonially presented it to me. I didn't know at first why, but finally it came to me. Although I could not understand a word that was spoken, one could tell that the presenter was very grateful. I wish that I had gotten his name, but a kid of 20 years of age never thinks of these things. . .

There was a name on the painting 'J NAYOSHI'"

This American veteran is trying to find Nayoshi to thank him for the many years of joy he has received from this painting. Can you help?

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The following is a color reproduction of the painting:

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Do you recognize either of the men in this photo? One of them could be Juko Nayoshi.

If you know who Juko Nayoshi is, his whereabouts or how to get in touch with any member of his family, please contact J.A. Hitchcock